Two Chicago police officers were killed in the line of duty Monday when they were struck by a passenger train as they were investigating a report of gunfire on the city’s South Side, according to a police department spokesman.
The officers become the third and fourth Chicago police officers killed in the line of duty in Chicago in 2018. They were identified as Eduardo Marmolejo, 36, and Conrad Gary, 31.
“They were … doing their job, trying to protect the rest of us” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. “We lost people answering the call to make Chicago a better place.”
The officers were responding to a call of shots fired near the tracks near 103rd Street and Dauphin Avenue around 6:30 p.m. when they were struck by a Metra train — the local suburban passenger train service — that was headed toward Northwest Indiana, authorities said.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the train, filled with commuters, was likely travelling 60 to 65 mph.
A suspect believed to be involved in the shooting incident that caused the officers to be dispatched to the area was taken into custody. Police also discovered a weapon in the area. The suspect was being questioned on police Monday night.
Johnson said officers were responding after the department’s ShotSpotter system detected gunfire in the area. The officers were struck when a suspect made his way up to the train tracks, Johnson said.
“The most dangerous thing is to take a weapon off an armed individual,” Johnson said.
Marmolejo had been been the department more than two years, and Gary joined the department about 18 months ago, Johnson said. Both had young children.
The officers’ deaths followed the shooting death of Samuel Jimenez, 32, who was killed less than a month ago while responding to a gunman who opened fire at a Chicago hospital. Two hospital workers as well as the gunman were killed in the Nov. 17 incident at Mercy Hospital.
In February, Cmdr. Paul Bauer, a veteran of more than three decades on the Chicago force, was fatally shot while confronting a man who had run from police officers, during an incident in downtown Chicago.
“It’s been an immensely difficult year,” Johnson said a Monday night news conference.
Kevin Graham, president of the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police, called the deaths a “grim reminder of the dangers police officers face each and every day to protect the public.”
“We ask that everyone pray for these officers and their families, as well as all Chicago Police officers, particularly those in the Fifth District,” Graham said.
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/12/17/chicago-police-officers-dead-after-being-struck-train/2345382002/